One Poem by Bill Cotter

An Almost Ordinary Sunrise

The early train for Melbourne mutters its diesel warning,
Pushes through the circles of white platform lights,
Whistles to prod the long-haul truckies from their sleeping,
Swings out into the summer’s worn paddocks and quickly writes
A thin yellow message in the grey mist.

Seeing the polished surface of a dam beside the track,
One man puts down his paper and thinks of his wife at home
And the white screen they had confronted at Peter Mac,
The one clearly showing, on her right breast, that patch of foam
He had been too fearful even to name.

Drawn to the same ring of white and grey water,
Another recalls laughter, skates razoring a frozen lake,
Chips of ice flung out like glistening confetti and his lover,
Tense and alive with excitement, daring him to turn back
And he hopes she will have arrived already from Paris.

Keen to tease a girl bent over a book of poetry,
A teen aged boy, pretending a genuine interest,
Winks and grins. But, prim and protective, an old lady,
Knowing well the lurks of school boys, commands him to desist
And a few heads bob in agreement.

Escaped for the day, mothers plan their shopping attack
And an old man, smoothes out the dunes in the morning paper,
Noting a President has set his sights on Iraq.


Bill Cotter has poems appearing in journals and magazines in Australia, New Zealand, New Deli and England. He has published a novel, a short play for voices, collections of short stories and a historical novel. He has won the Melbourne Shakespeare Society’s sonnet competition and the International Library of Poetry competition.

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